Fifteen names, one hero, no limits.
Matthew Reilly was born in Sydney in 1974 and studied law at the University of New South Wales. Matthew self-published his first novel Contest at age 19 and went on to secure a contract. His first industry-produced novel, Ice Station, was a runaway success. His achievements in Australia have now been repeated internationally with his novels becoming bestsellers in fourteen countries and nine languages. He has written both screenplays and magazine articles and has also directed three short films. Sean Mangan was born in England, raised in Canada and brought to Australia by accident. He is a singer, musician, songwriter and author. Books narrated for Bolinda audio include John Birmingham's Dave Hooper Trilogy, Greig Beck's The Void and The Abyss as well as many of Matthew Reilly's blockbuster titles, such as Area 7, Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves and The Great Zoo of China. He has narrated close to 100 audiobooks and brings intensity and excitement to his readings.
Two years ago Matthew Reilly warned that his next novel would be ‘lean, mean and totally out of control’. Now he delivers, and how. The prologue of Scarecrow introduces a group of seriously rich folk conspiring to get even richer by rekindling the Cold War. They also set loose a nasty bunch of bounty hunters to eliminate military experts standing in their way. Three pages later the mayhem begins. Shane Schofield (aka Scarecrow), hero of Ice Station and Area 7, barely escapes an ambush in Siberia, and during scant pauses between shooting down helicopters and sinking an aircraft carrier, he uncovers the plot and why he’s on the hit list. One by one the others are eliminated. He must stay alive and defuse rogue missiles before the inevitable deadline. As usual, Reilly strings together a spectacular series of action set pieces à la James Bond. Baddies are bloodily dispatched—shot, blown up, shredded, stabbed, strangled and decapitated—on almost every page. Goodies have miraculous escapes. Criticism that the frenetic, non-stop action is improbable, and that the characters are celluloid rather than flesh and blood, misses the point. Reilly’s books are deliberately aimed at a generation brought up on action films and video games. Ice Station’s popularity proves the formula works. Graeme Moore is fiction manager and buyer at Dymocks Melbourne. C. 2003 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors
Area 7; Temple; Contest; Ice Station-fans of Reilly's novels know that no one writes faster-moving adventure fiction, so it's a shock to read, in an interview with Reilly included at the back of this novel, that he aimed to "create a new level of speed and pace" here. He has succeeded-the text is all fury, akin to taking a James Bond film, cutting out everything but the action and running that at double speed. The plot is preposterous and secondary, a frame on which to hang one extraordinary fighting/escape scene after another. The world's greatest bounty hunters are offered, by a cabal of the world's richest humans, $18.6 million per head to bring to the cabal's headquarters in France the heads of 15 men. One of the heads belongs to U.S. Marine captain Shane Schofield, aka Scarecrow, hero of Ice Station and Area 7. It turns out that he and the other targets have the world's fastest reflexes, allowing them to disarm nuclear missiles about to strike-an ability that can defuse the cabal's plan to launch nuclear attacks on major world cities, instilling chaos and creating a new international arms race for profit. Character, too, is secondary here, though Reilly does take the unusual step of killing off one major series hero. And even the traditional novel form is secondary in this entertainment entity; this is as much video game as novel, complete with meticulous diagrams of most of the many locales (a penal installation in Siberia; an office tower in London, etc.) and literary sound effects ("An ominous deep-seated thromming emanated...."). What's foremost, along with the action, is quick-cut entertainment: up to 20 paragraphs per pages, with some paragraphs running only one word, sweep readers from beginning to end. Reilly's admirers will love this one, and anyone interested in the outer limit of action writing should check it out; that the villains are headquartered in France should add to its populist appeal. (Mar. 24) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Reilly's latest slam-bang actioner delivers more thrills than most other adventure novels. Shane Schofield, a.k.a. Scarecrow and the hero of Ice Station and Area 7, finds himself on a hit list of 12 men, all members of elite military units from around the globe. A bounty of $18.6 million a head spurs the hopes of professional assassins. There's only one catch-the men on the list must be dead by noon on October 26th, Eastern Standard Time. The novel starts three hours before the deadline and is essentially one long action scene-a bold experiment. Plot points and exposition occur even as Scarecrow fights for his life, creating a tale that never lets the hero, or the reader, take a breath. Overall, this is an over-the-top roller-coaster ride that would make a pulse-pounding movie if you had a budget of $6 billion. For all fiction collections.-Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
' ... kept me hooked from beginning to end.' -- Amazon